Navigate Home Sustainability – Does it Matter?

Navigate Home Sustainability – Does it Matter?
May 13, 2022 Sabine Schoenberg

Does it matter if weather patterns show never before seen floods, hotter wildfires, and higher temperatures? The answer is, of course, it matters to all human beings. What would happen when you make changes right around you, or, when you navigate home changes?

We all know climate changes are happening all around us.  NPR reports “…Pakistan has the highest glaciers outside the polar region and many are losing mass due to high global temperatures.

In the face of overwhelming natural disasters, the challenge to change the course on climate is indeed daunting. We don’t know what we, individually, can do to help solve them.  We feel small. Many people quietly wonder: What can I do to make a difference? We believe their contributions are small and insignificant. However, this is an illusion. The fact is there is power in the sheer numbers of consumers. When every consumer contributes positively the action itself matters and it sends a powerful collective message. Before you know it, others feel called to take similar actions.  This is the meaning of “making sustainability (ESG) local”.

United Nations Leading The Way

We just threw a term at you that might not be wholly familiar. What is “ESG”? It’s a sustainability framework based on the United Nations Sustainability Goals. ESG is an acronym that stands for “Environmental, Social, and Governance” and represents a holistic approach to building a better world by protecting the environment, creating more social equity, and ensuring transparent governance across government institutions and businesses.

At Smart Healthy Green Living, we see our ESG impact as an educational and awareness vehicle helping everyday people identify small ways they can incorporate sustainable habits into their everyday life. Why? Because we know that if we all do one thing, we can make a huge difference. We believe so much in this that we even created a special campaign the “Do One Thing” campaign to facilitate this vision.

Navigate Home Products To Boost Sustainability

How to start? Perhaps, look at the cleaning products under your sink. How toxic are they? Are they bio-degradable? Are they a concentrate that you then dilute with water using and reusing the same container? These are products such as Method, owned by SC Johnson, or Blueland to name a few. Ask yourself what kind of garden weed killers and fertilizers you garden with, or distribute around your property. Think of gardening as putting dreadful chemicals directly on Mother Earth. They will find their way into our clean water supplies through stormwater runoff or seeping into underground aquifers.

Watch the creatives on Smart Healthy Green Living as they identify products and solutions that will help you to live a more sustainable lifestyle.  Check out the organic gardening shows from CaliKim, Green Dreams, and Chibi Moku’s Landscape Design; and discover eco-friendly building products on Rise Sustainable Home Tours and Rise Sustainability For Your Home and so much more.

It’s the old adage of one drop of water – one consumer at a time, and before you know it, you filled a whole bucket with water, you’ve created a whole community.

Navigate Home Renovations and Home Construction

Home renovation and home construction are resource-intensive.  Most every project starts with a demo of some sort. Recent shortages in all kinds of materials have had the silver lining that builders are not so quick to simply throw materials into a dumpster and order anew.

Why not reuse perfectly good lumber?  Navigating home renovations with a re-use perspective such as recycled lumber makes use of perfectly good materials. In some cases, depending on the age of the home, used lumber may even be superior in strength and quality to newer lumber. Think of all that old-growth material used in homes a century ago. It reduces the consumption of natural materials and cuts down on pollution from the production process through to shipping (packing materials) and distribution (gasoline/diesel).

Contractors are often quick to toss even well-established packing materials such as cardboard into dumpsters mixing them with other debris.  Why not separate out recyclable materials? Here are two building materials companies with credible sustainable efforts across their many stores.

Examples of Sustainability in Corporate Home Improvement

Two meaningful examples of large corporate brands in the home improvement arena are:

(1)Home Depot ought to be commended for the way it recycles its substantial packaging materials. HomeDepot gathers the material and sends it off to one of its manufacturers where the packing waste is used to make new decking materials that are then sold in Home Depot stores.

(2)Sherwin-Williams, the paint company lets consumers return ANY can of paint to any of their stores, and the company will then properly dispose of and recycle – in other words, Sherwin-Williams own paints and paint cans from other brands – kudos to these companies!

Let us know of those examples/efforts that you are aware of.

Companies Are People, People Are Companies

There are many behavior changes we, as individuals, can make in our daily lives.  Check out SHG Living’s “Do One Thing” campaign for suggestions. Once you get going, you will begin to understand the impact your action actually has.  Navigating home changes might just inspire you too to take your thinking into the workplace. Small and large companies and corporations are looking for ways of making a positive, ESG-focused impact. Home Depot’s recycling or packaging started with one person pitching it to management.

Life is a mindset. Why not make your actions, your life part of the solution? Why not stand for making the planet a better place?

It is inspiring to see truly innovative, new “green” technologies and solutions finding funding today. Today, there is actually enough investment activity that one can refer to it as a “green movement”, or a meaningful sustainability effort. The speed with which researchers are coming up with new innovative products and solutions to clean up the oceans, create better energy production methods, clean up carbon levels in the air and water, decrease or replace precious metals with commonly found materials, electrification all things automotive to decrease the use of fossil fuels, just to mention a few, is impressive.

Be a part of this movement by starting to navigate home selections directly around you. You, your health, your kids, your pets, your neighbors, your community, AND Mother Earth at large will benefit – guaranteed.

Photo by Joseph Pearson